How Canada newbies can have ‘soft’ landing, jobs in their fields | Global News

How Canada newbies can have ‘soft’ landing, jobs in their fields


Mary Ann San Juan explains the mentoring program to Rebecca Zala, who is interested in sharing the project with her mom. PHOTO BY MARISA ROQUE

TORONTO, Ontario — Newcomers to Canada can get a chance for a “softer” and smoother transition to a new workplace via a mentorship project funded by Canada’s employment ministry.

Called the “Referral Partnership Program,” jointly conducted by The Filipino Center of Toronto (FCT) and the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada approved a New Horizons for Seniors Program Grant (NHSP) to run from March 6, 2015 to February 28, 2016.


Mary Ann San Juan, a board director of FCT and project lead, said, “Seniors in the community are encouraged to be volunteer-mentors to members of visible minorities, new immigrants, youth and ethno-cultural groups.”

According to San Juan, “The Mentoring Partnership has a high success rate, with 75 percent of mentees gaining meaningful employment in their field within 12 months of taking part.”


There are numerous benefits to mentees, but what is in store for the mentors?  San Juan states, “Volunteer mentors give back to their professional community while gaining valuable leadership experience.  They commit to a total of 24 hours over four months.”

Mentors need to have the following qualifications:

• Minimum three years’ work experience as an established Canadian professional;

  • Current knowledge about their profession and industry, such as labor market demands, industry trends, and required competencies and skills;
  • Appreciation of employment issues related to skilled immigrants, with special emphasis on cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness;
  • Willingness to share experience, knowledge, and information;
  • Possession of established network of professional contacts;
  • Attitude of openness to learning, listening, and communicating and being friendly and positive.

The mentors will help the mentees gain a better understanding and knowledge of the following three areas, namely:

  • Workplace culture in the Canadian context;
  • Information about the profession, industry, and sector and
  • Networking as a means to build professional links.

Mentees must be newcomers to Canada (less than three years) with limited or no Canadian work experience in their profession.  They may also have re-engaged with their profession through a bridging program or academic training within the past two years.

They have to be legally entitled to work in Canada and possess at least three years of international work experience in their area of expertise.  Mentees also need to have a necessary level of English skills to perform effectively in the work place.

Other requirements include mentees having achieved a bachelor’s degree or equivalent post-secondary education outside of Canada, being currently unemployed or underemployed, and actively seeking work in their field.


FCT encourages potential mentors in the community to attend one of two information sessions about the program at the FCT offices (597 Parliament St., Toronto, ON M4X 1W3) on Tuesday, September 15 at 5 pm or Saturday, September 26 at 12 noon.

For more information, call 416 928 9355 or email [email protected]

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TAGS: " Filipino Center of Toronto (FCT), "Referral Partnership Program, Filipino immigration Canada, Mary Ann San Juan, New Horizons for Seniors Program Grant (NHSP), newcomer mentoring program Canada, senior mentors for newcomers Canada, tMinister of Employment and Social Development Canada, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)
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